One week with my PineTime - a Feedback

January 30, 2021 — Nico Cartron

A follow-up on my previous posts about PineTime: what works, and what is missing.


EDIT February 21st, 2021

Since I wrote this article, a few InfiniTime updates have been released, bringing new features and making the watch much more usable.

Please have a look at:


Disclaimer

This (quick) review is meant to be honest but in no case rude or negative: the idea is just to give people who are considering ordering a PineTime an idea of what they can expect.

Bear in mind that the development of InfiniTime is ongoing and there's a super active community, so what I am writing in this article will very likely change and be outdated in a few weeks, with a lot of improvements, new features and bug fixes coming!

How I tested

I am using Amazfish (version 1.9.0-1.14.1) as companion app on SailfishOS 3.4.0.24 (Pallas-Yllästunturi), and PineTime is running InfiniTime v0.10, released on January 4th, 2021.

What works

Time and date

Upon first synchronisation with Amazfish (see this article for more details), time and date will be synchronised from your SFOS phone to the PineTime:

Status

In addition to date and time, the main display also shows:

  • Battery status,
  • Bluetooth status,
  • Notification icon (if unread notification),
  • Heart Rate (does not work in v0.10),
  • Number of steps (not updated as of now).

Notifications

Notifications work and will wake-up the display:

However with Amazfish, the content of the notification is quite limited: in the above screenshot, you can see that I just got the name of the application who sent the notification.
That's because it depends on what the companion app (Amazfish here) writes into the notification, but the protocol only provides 1 field - this will likely be improved in the future.

Basic settings

  • It is possible to modify the brightness (between low, medium and high),
  • Show various information about the watch (InfiniTime version, battery level, ...)
  • Validating the firmware (as explained in a previous article).

Controlling Music

Starting with InfiniTime v0.10, thanks to Adam Pigg, it is now possible to control music, e.g. if you're using Hutspot on your SFOS device:

It is pretty neat and works really well.

I have not tested the default SFOS media app, but I assume it would also work.

Games/Utilities

2 games and 1 utility are available:

  • a 2048 game, surprisingly easy to play and addictive:

  • a Pong game, which I found less fun:

  • a Paint utility:

Misc Utilites

InfiniTime also comes with 2 other "apps", which display a kind of moving circle. Those are demo applications meant to test lvgl (the open-source graphics library used), and will probably be removed in an upcoming release, since JF put them here to fill the void when there were no other apps :)

What is missing

Basic apps and features

  • Vibrations don't work - according to Adam, there isn't an internal API for using the vibration motor in a non blocking way at the moment.
  • Steps are not counted,
  • No information about Heart-Rate (this is changing with v0.11),
  • Notifications are quite limited (see above),
  • There's no alarm app or countdown app.

Battery Life

I will probably write a dedicated article on that, once steps counting work.
So far I have managed to get about a week out of the PineTime, but that's not really representative (no Heart-rate measurement nor steps counting).
But that's nevertheless quite good, even if you just use the PineTime to, well get the time (after all, that's the first goal of a watch ;)

Upcoming InfiniTime versions

I have not upgraded yet to InfiniTime v0.11, since that means I would lose the Music control part with Amazfish, which has not been updated for that (although some users report on the PineTime Telegram group that it works).

Update 31/01/2021: I realised that the above statement is wrong: the tests that failed were done with a prerelease, and a quick test on 0.11 showed that Music control works fine.

Version 0.11 brings:

  • integration of the heart-rate sensor,
  • InfiniNav, a navigation app, which will work with PureMaps on SailfishOS.

Conclusion

This review may seem negative but it's really not: I like the PineTime, it's light on the wrist and the current InfiniTime firmwares keep improving, so it's really worth a try if you want to play with it.

Just be aware that at the beginning, you'll be missing on some basic features, but they'll likely be added by the community.

EDIT February 21st, 2021

Since I wrote this article, a few InfiniTime updates have been released, bringing new features and making the watch much more usable.

Please have a look at:

Thanks for reading!


Tags: PineTime, SailfishOS, English

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